An Unexpected Hero at Radio Mogadishu

Somalia's states, regions and districts
Image via Wikipedia

In a part of the world where I have never traveled, inside a walled compound surrounded by machine gun carrying troops, is my new hero. She is a radio announcer and daily faces threats to her life to do her job as a journalist. Her name is Sagel Siad and the only picture I have seen of her shows a woman in an orange hijab with dark brown eyes that radiate personality and sass.  She seems to embody true feminism in living out her beliefs of “social, political and economic equality“.

Sagel is a radio broadcaster at Radio Mogadishu in Somalia‘s capital.  Somalia has had over twenty years of civil war and unrest and a group called al-Shabaab made up of Islamic insurgents is not happy with Radio Mogadishu, threatening anyone with ties to the station. I can’t imagine that Somalia is an easy place to live, much less work as a female journalist, but my new hero does just that and sounds on the air like she does it well. Her clear voice resonates as she begins the afternoon segment withBismillah rahman ir rahim”  (In the name of God, the most Gracious, most Compassionate) moving on to her story of the day, which inevitably will include news on violence in the area.

This is amazing. To get up everyday and know you are risking your life is so far from my reality and comprehension that it doesn’t make much of a dent in my brain. Hearing a story like Sagel’s and connecting a face and voice with this story makes the courage of her life and work come alive.

Once more I am struck by ordinary people in this part of the world, doing extraordinary things. Things like working as a woman broadcaster, even when it means death threats and armed guards around your place of work, and I realize that when I grow up, I want to be as brave as Sagel Siad.

3 thoughts on “An Unexpected Hero at Radio Mogadishu

  1. She sounds pretty amazing doesn’t she? Thanks so much for reading. On another topic, I looked at one of your posts today and was so moved by your ability to tell a story. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you for your kind reply. If you read the comments, there were a couple of people who criticized the true story. What I did not reply to them, I will state to you: I wanted to give her a voice.

      Today when I read your post (which I do every day), I was also touched by this young woman. She is very brave and in much danger. In my eyes she is a heroin as much as Joan of Arc.

      We are not in a recognized war zone in America, however, the war was and is being waged by homegrown terrorists who place our names on death list. I can understand going to work every day and not knowing if I would return home; I believed, as did those who worked for me, that the right to choose was a right we would give up our life to keep. There will be a book of short stories before next January.

      If you have questions, please feel free to ask. My name is Linda Bourgeois and my email is linda.bourgeois@gmail.com.

      Thank you for all your great posts.

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